Trees have come and gone since the early twentieth century when Warren Henry Manning, or more likely one of his employees,
    took the photo above, a few hundred yards northwest of the Rustic Bridge, but the rock, named "Texas," is still there.

    Below -  The next three photos are by Manning. The one at the bottom with the boys on the raft was taken by Edwin Darling.

    Hopedale History
    March 15, 2017
    No. 320
    Manning in Hopedale, Part 2

    Hopedale in March   

    G&U yard, Google Earth views, 1995 - 2016

    Recent additions to pages: Hopedale Community Centennial Pageant, 1942 (Another photo added.)  


    The increasing interest of the children who fully appreciate the privilege of sitting at the little table prepared for them has
    made the trustees feel that the efficiency of the library would be much increased if a children's room could be provided. The
    plan of allowing the interest from some of our special funds to accumulate till such a room can be made possible is now
    under consideration. Anna M. Bancroft, for the Library Trustees, 1912.

    The new lights which have been placed about the children's table have added greatly to its usefulness. The table long ago
    justified its place, and now the Trustees are anticipating the time when the children may have a room by themselves for
    their books and games, with a trained assistant in charge. Report of the Bancroft Library Trustees, Arthur C. Johnson,
    secretary, 1916. The children's room was added in 1927. It was given to the town by Anna M. Bancroft.


                                           Warren Henry Manning's Work in Hopedale, Part 2

    Manning's earliest involvement with developing Hopedale's park system coincided with his eight-year tenure in the firm of
    Frederick Law Olmstead. However, the plan was not formalized and work was not begun on The Parklands until 1898, by
    which point Manning had established his own practice. In 1899, the town's Park Commission, consisting of Frank J.
    Dutcher, Charles F. Roper and George Otis Draper, accepted Manning's proposal for a park of nearly two hundred acres,
    encompassing the entire shoreline of Hopedale Pond, known as the Upper Privilege. The Hopedale project provided
    Manning with "the opportunity on a small scale to do what Olmstead and Eliot did in Boston with the Muddy River
    development, which emerged as the nation's first regional park system in 1892. " (John Garner, Model Company Town)
    The town appropriated $14,000 initially for the park project and $2500 annually thereafter, implementing each year until
    1914 a Manning-designed addition or improvement. A park superintendent directed the planting work and maintenance
    year-round. Even in the winter, the woods were continually thinned out and brush was burnt. The work crew burgeoned to
    thirty to forty men during the spring planting season. (Alvord, James C. "What the Neighbors Did in Hopedale," Country Life
    in America, 24 (January 1914) pp. 61-62; Garner, John, The Model Company Town, 1984, pp.192-195)

    The principal objective of the design and execution of the Parklands was to keep the pond and the park "as natural as
    possible, to refuse any touch of artificiality except in that portion where closeness to the houses forces certain yieldings to a
    cultivated aspect." (Alvord, 61) As described by Garner, landscaping entailed combining several properties, surveying and
    planning, and ground reclamation through draining, filling, and replanting. (Garner, 194) One of the first improvements was
    the creation, in 1899, of a bathing beach at the southern end of the park, near the intersection of Hopedale, Dutcher, and
    Northrop streets. Sand dumped on the ice in the pond during the winter settled to form the beach. (Alvord, 61)  The
    bathhouse, designed by Chapman and Frazer, was added in 1904. Near the northeastern side of the pond, a nursery was
    established within the boundaries of the park for the purpose of cultivating seedlings, and transplanting from the nursery
    took place during a period of at least three weeks each spring. Maple, ash, birch, hickory and pine seedlings were native to
    the park. Tree species that were introduced included hemlock, tulip, mountain ash, Carolina poplar, black alder, striped
    maple, willows, Japanese barberry, red-osier dogwood, bittersweet, and cedars. A period account described the "three
    rules for planting: the trees must look as though they came there by accident, the bare places must be gradually covered,
    {and} picturesque trees must be set on the border of the water." (Alvord, 62) A ribbon of trails designed in 1907 wound
    around the irregular shoreline for more than a mile in length; by 1914, this path system of "natural-looking walks," which
    survives today, extended for more than four miles. Hunting was prohibited in the park, and 125 birdhouses were raised.
    Stone shelters were constructed.

    The view south from the shore of Hopedale Pond to the Draper plant on Freedom Street provides a striking image of large-
    scale industry framed by a natural, albeit designed, landscape. A period account offers the highest compliment of the
    park's planning and execution, as well as, indirectly, a tribute to the vision of the Drapers:

    To-day Hopedale possesses, in place of an ugly mill-pond, disfigured with dead trees and unsightly dump-heaps, a park
    whose path plunges from her very thresholds right into cool, deep woods, whose lake surface is fit for fishing, boating,
    swimming, and skating in the winter, whose brooks are crossed with artistic bridges, whose gorgeous and varied forest
    looks as though it originated there, and whose winding paths seem the offspring of chance and idle wanderings. (Alvord,
    82) Kathleen Kelly Broomer, Hopedale HIstoric Village National Register Nomination

                                            Park, Pond, Parklands and Sports Menu                   Ezine Menu                      HOME   

    This photo and article are from the Bancroft Library's collection
    of material from the Community House Women's Club. I don't
    have the date, but it must have been in about 1955.

    The picture above the article was taken at the Community
    House,. This event appears to been at the Town Hall.